Geothermal Heat Pump System for New Student Housing Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Geothermal Heat Pump System for New Student Housing
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act – Geothermal Technologies Program: Ground Source Heat Pumps
Project Type / Topic 2 Topic Area 1: Technology Demonstration Projects

Project Description The proposed geothermal heat pump system is estimated to reduce annual electricity usage by 400,000 kilowatt-hours and annual heating fuel usage by 12,000 MMBtu resulting in annual utility cost savings of approximately $135,000. The recurring utility cost savings will help the University offset the cost of retaining at least 2 to 4 of its facility management staff at a time of severe operational budget cuts. In addition, the system will reduce the new building’s carbon footprint by approximately 1,600,000 lbs of CO2 per year. The project will also create 6-7 engineering jobs worth $650,000 and 16-38 construction jobs worth $1.5 million. The project will drive the need for specialized and skilled workers in the design and construction community and lead to investment in training and education of the local workforce.
State New York
Objectives Install a geothermal heat pump system to provide heating and cooling to the planned 200,000 SF, multi-story, 500-bed new apartment-style student housing to be constructed at the University at Albany’s Uptown campus. The proposed geothermal heat pump system will provide approximately 500-tons of cooling and 5,250,000 Btu/hr of heating. The project also includes ongoing maintenance, operations and continuous commissioning to optimize system performance and ensure that the system operates per original design intent such that estimated energy and cost savings are realized.
Awardees (Company / Institution) University at Albany

Awardee Website
Partner 1 Dormitory Authority of State of NY
Partner 2 NYS Energy Research and Development Authority

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000116

DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,786,250.00
Awardee Cost Share $2,786,250.00
Total Project Cost $5,572,500.00

Principal Investigator(s) Indumathi Lnu, University Energy Officer, University at Albany

Targets / Milestones The project includes soil testing and test wells to assess geotechnical properties and thermal conductivity value and a financial analysis to evaluate the geothermal heat pump system against conventional HVAC systems using Life Cycle Costing Analysis. If the project is determined to be technically feasible and financially viable, geothermal heat pump system will be designed, engineered and installed using a design-bid-build process to provide heating and cooling for the new student housing. The system will be commissioned during the design and constructive phases and annually for a minimum for 3 years post-construction by an independent third party to ensure optimum performance. The system will be operated and maintained by the University. The University will collect and submit to DOE and other interested parties the system performance data for a minimum of 3 years post-construction. The University will actively disseminate project related information to the campus community and other external entities for a minimum for 1 year post-construction.

Location of Project Albany, NY

Impacts Large GHP system that will provide strong educational opportunity for students. Application has strong data gathering component.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs